Exploring the World Around Us
June  2016

corporateandcommunityprograms C orporate and Community Programs

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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new  landscapes,  but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
courtesy of Linguagarden.com

It is often when we explore the world around us that we discover the things that have been right under our noses all along, waiting to be seen. This has certainly been the case for Peace Learning Center as we have embraced restorative practices and begun making it the core of what we do here.

For so long, our programs and mission have pointed towards restorative practices, but we had not yet "discovered" how it fit into what we do in a tangible way. But now we have. And we're so excited to be sharing it with you and the community.

If you haven't heard about our newest initiative we invite you to read this blog post , written by our Youth Programs Director, Kristina Hulvershorn. And, if you're interested in knowing even more, we invite you to check out the upcoming events section of the newsletter for free workshops in the subject.

Have fun exploring the rest of this newsletter!

Peace on,

Giving Sum members are this month's Volunteers of the Month. Giving Sum awarded Peace Learning Center a $20,000 grant to help expand our One Indy programming and have also been completing service projects with us.  Despite inclement weather, more than 20 members showed up for a Mini TLC for PLC day to help us clean up the inside of our building and get organized for the summer. 
Thank you all for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team and look forward to doing more great work with your help!
Volunteer Opportunities  
As always, PLC volunteers are busy making a difference everyday! Thanks to all of you who've helped  support our mission to educate,  inspi re and empower people to build peaceful communities this past month.

To learn about other volunteer opportunities, contact Jay Horan  or visit peacelearningcenter.org/volunteer to complete an online volunteer application.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."   Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Dr. Seuss was right! We get to decide where we're going. We can steer ourselves! Many of our professional development workshops are designed to help us do just that - to figure out where we're going and what we need to get there.
We focus not only the where you're going, but help you to discover the "why." Author, Simon Sinek in his book, "Start with the Why," offers some tips. In reflective and introspective exercises and assignments, we reflect on the why behind the what. "Why do you do what you do?" Few of us are serving our communities to become rich, first, or famous. We're normally "in it" for reasons far more beautiful.  
Sinek further asks us about our "how." How will you go about your journey through the world around us? What's in your backpack, your suitcase? Are you packing creativity and imagination or is it passion and service?
Our professional development workshops help aspiring, new and seasoned leaders to go out into the world around us and serve. We help them discover strategies for managing conflict and techniques for problem solving. We help them to build more peaceful communities through a better understanding of our differences and similarities. On a really great day, we get to venture into the world around us here in Indianapolis' Eagle Creek Park for team building and reflection exercises!
Whether you are learning skills for the first time or simply refining them, we have many offerings to help you prepare to "steer yourself any direction you choose!" 
The extra added bonus is being able to enjoy the absolutely majestic Eagle Creek Park. Weather permitting, we will hold sessions outdoors. Just imagine the fresh air which brings extra oxygen to our bodies that in turn energizes our entire being. And, the calming effect of nature lends itself to smoother interactions.

To learn more about Corporate and community programs, contact John McShane  or call 317.327.7144. 



One of our learning lessons is the Privilege Walk.
While we probably want to walk side by side with all of our fellow Americans, this exercise exposes some brutal truths about people's differing experiences.
A group doing this activity is lined shoulder to shoulder. We then say statements such as:
  • If you are a white male take one step forward.
  • If there have been times in your life when you skipped a meal because there was no food in the house take one step backward.
  • If you have visible or invisible disabilities take one step backward.
  • If you attended (grade) school with people you felt were like yourself take one step forward.
  • If your family had health insurance take one step forward.
  • If your work holidays coincide with religious holidays that you celebrate take one step forward.
  • If you feel good about how your identified culture is portrayed by the media take one step forward.
  • If you were born in the United States take one step forward. 
As you can imagine, the line gets more and more broken with some people moving very far forward and others staying still or going backwards. This causes anger, sadness and confusion.
After the exercise, participants talk about what if felt like to move forward or to be stuck behind. Personal stories of discrimination, sexism, racism and other plagues on our society are discussed and many people are shocked to learn what other people have to tolerate on a regular basis.
Recently I was in a group of people who were asked, "how many people do you know who are in or have been in prison?" Most of the European Americans said between 2 and 10 while many African Americans could name 90, 150 or even over 200. We then learned that more than 60,000,000 Americans are in or have been in the correctional system - that is one in five of our citizens.
These activities are not meant to cause "blame and shame" in people. They are to open up dialogue that exposes each other's truths. We must deal with the shame of racism, sexism and elitism in our society if we are to end it.
While it is good to explore our differences, it is also wise to remember that we are all human beings way more similar to each other than different.
All people should be able to share equally in the American dream.
Written by Tim Nation, Executive Director
Use Your Time Bank to Explore the World Around Us!

Exploring the World around us is the perfect topic this month!   There is so much activity going on around us to explore and experience - f rom festivals, fairs and concerts to activities in the parks, vacations and more.
As an adult, I confess I got so caught up and busy with "life" that I actually stopped  paying attention to all the wonderful things to explore around me.  But that all changed w hen my kids showed me how to explore the world around us.  I forgot how amazing ants are while we watched them carry many times their weight, taking food back to their ant holes - such team work!   I took time out and examined a rock we found on the beach, noticing it's beauty and realizing the hundreds of years it took for that little rock to form.  I also learned to look at the world with a new pair of eyes and taught my children the same.  What is "normal" for us, isn't "normal" for others and vice versa - and that's OK because we're all individuals who "do our own thing" as we explore ourselves, others, the world and life around us - judgment free.  When I look at how grown my children are, I also realize how time really flies and is a precious commodity - it's important to savor it as so.
At the Peace Learning Center, we teach these very things to youth AND adults.  Don't blame, don't judge, consider others viewpoints, teamwork, nature around us and more.  Visit our website and enroll youth in a summer camp, sign up for a family workshop so you and they can explore the world around you and around each other.

As for time... I'm reminded of this story:  Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, does not carry a balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening deletes whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Of course, you'd use every penny of it!  

Everyone has this bank. It's a TIME bank. Every morning, you are credited 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off whatever you failed to spend.  No balance is carried over into the next day. Each day opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no borrowing against  "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so you get from it the utmost in everything you do - make sure to include exploring the world around you. The clock is running.

Written by Lisa Jones, PLC Associate Director
Make Good Changes Happen!  

Please help us thank some of our donors this past month who are helping make peace possible! 

  • Robert Bringle
  • Demetrees Hutchins
  • Elizabeth Swisher
  • Matt Horan
  • Barbara Townsend
  • John and Jane Westermeier
  • William Sweitzer
Nonprofits & Businesses: 
  • First Congregational Church of Indianapolis
  • Early Learning Indiana
  • Lutheran Child & Family
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • All Souls Unitarian Church

If you'd like to join them in supporting peace education, please click here to donate now! 
Summer Fun Family Workshops

WHAT:  Session 3 - Can We Talk? Participants will describe what they feel are the causes of conflicts or problems within a family. No family will be singled out; rather, participants will describe a "generic" family. This will allow participants to think about their own family's dynamics without revealing personal information.

Session 4 - What is Conflict and How Do We Solve It? Participants will learn and identify the varied types of conflict and reasons for it. They will also learn techniques for deescalating and solving conflict within the family.

Session 5 - Do You Hear Me, Are You Listening? Participants will learn various types of communication. They will learn the nuances of listening; observing; passive communication; aggressive communication; as well as non-verbal communication. Poor communication is often at the root of family conflicts.

Session 6 - Developing a Family Peace Plan. Using art materials, participants will draw up a declaration that outlines how they envision their peaceful family. The will also create a family crest that expresses the best of themselves as a loving and cooperative unit. Workshop participants will also receive a "Certificate of Completion."

WHEN:  Session 3 - Saturday, July 2 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Session 4 - Saturday, July 16 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Session 5 - Saturday, August 6 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Session 6 - Saturday, August 20 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Peace Learning Center, 6040 DeLong Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254

COST:   $30 per family. To register please follow

Restorative Practices Workshops

WHATRestorative Practices workshops are an introductory or refresher to become familiar with the basic tenants and skills associated with restorative practices. One need not attend more than one workshop. These workshops are free, but we do ask that you bring your own lunch. To register

WHEN:  Monday, August 8, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 3, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Peace Learning Center, 6040 DeLong Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254

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